Volunteers Remember Almeta Crayton During Everybody Eats Feast

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COLUMBIA - Hundreds of volunteers came by to help serve food and remember Almeta Crayton at her annual Everybody Eats Feast Thursday.

68 turkeys were served along with several side dishes.

Scott Cristal, a coordinator for the event, said since organizers didn't deliver baskets to families like they usually do this year, they expected anywhere from 300 to 500 people to attend the event in person. He also said they got hundreds of people willing to volunteer, and there were still people showing up to help the day of the event.

Volunteers said they came to help the community and remember Almeta.

"She was giving. Very,very giving," said volunteer Jill Burwell.

Former First Ward Councilwoman Almeta Crayton died in October.

She set up the Everybody Eats program to ensure everyone had a hot meal on Thanksgiving.

Other volunteers brought family to help at Everybody Eats, saying Almeta's giving heart is something they want their children to learn.

"My daughter's seven, and I want her to understand what Thanksgiving is really about: Being thankful for what we do have, and that there's people out there who don't have what we have," said volunteer Meghan Foster.

Almeta's face was on several pictures, slide shows, and a cake at the feast.

Before the volunteers were put to work, family and friends held hands for a prayer and to remember Crayton.

Volunteers KOMU 8 News spoke with all want to thank Crayton for her contributions, and said her memory will stay in their hearts.

"God bless her, she's done a wonderful job over the last few years...and she's left us with a wonderful legacy," said volunteer David Gilstrap while fighting tears.

Cristal said the leftovers from the event will not be put to waste, and organizers already made arrangements to send the leftovers to shelters.